Dan Jones hits the road …

… Walking Britain’s Roman Roads, in fact. It is quite a good series, in which Jones explores some of the most important of these, together with some aspects of Romano-British Society. The first episode takes him the length of Watling Street, the first part of which is now he M2, during which he visits the… Continue reading Dan Jones hits the road …

A view of Powderham Castle in Devon….

Fifteen miles downstream of Exeter, Powderham Castle faces over the estuary of the River Exe, having originally risen “from the ashes of the Great Plague, but that wouldn’t be its last brush with adversity”. At the beginning it was a true castle, set in 50,000 acres. Alas, after weathering wars, sieges and other troubles, it has… Continue reading A view of Powderham Castle in Devon….

The Mysterious Stone Masons of Herefordshire

Recently I had the chance to visit two of the most attractive female medieval tomb effigies I have yet encountered, both lying in their respective churches within ten miles or so of each other. Although one tomb effigy is in much better condition than the other, they are so stylistically close that it is likely… Continue reading The Mysterious Stone Masons of Herefordshire

Warwick, the “Kingmaker” in Dartmouth….

  The following quote is an interesting glimpse of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, the “Kingmaker”, in the spring of 1470, when it was prudent for him to leave England for a while. It is taken from Devon, its Moorlands, Streams & Coasts by Lady Rosalind Northcote, published 1908 by Chatto & Windus.. See here… Continue reading Warwick, the “Kingmaker” in Dartmouth….

From the Lizard to Deptford Bridge – a guest post

An Gof and the Cornish Rebellion 1497 As the early summer sun seared upon Bodmin Moor, sweeping south westwards to Goonhilly Downs , which straddles a swathe of the Lizard Peninsula , the tortured arid landscapes  weren’t the only features of 1497 Cornwall, threatening to ignite in a blaze of fiery agitation. In  1337 the… Continue reading From the Lizard to Deptford Bridge – a guest post

The Champernownes of Devon

The Champernownes (above), a Norman line whose alternative spellings include Chapman and Chamberlain, are surely Devon’s second family after the Courtenays of Powderham Castle, who hold the Earldom. From 1162, their (Domesday Book-cited) home was at Chambercombe Manor near Ilfracombe (middle right) but, by the early sixteenth century, this had passed to Henry Grey, Duke of… Continue reading The Champernownes of Devon

A very busy presenter

Rob Bell seems to be on television a lot at the moment. Although he is an engineer and not quite a historian, many of his programmes go back in time as structures were built. Walking Britain’s Lost Railways, for instance, goes back under two centuries because of the subject matter, but Great British Ships (both Channel… Continue reading A very busy presenter

Don’t believe his latest statue, the real Henry VII was cuddly…!

(Photograph from https://henrytudorsociety.com/2016/01/16/henry-tudor-statue-campaign-marquette-unveiled/) The statue that was eventually decided on for Henry VII at Pembroke was hardly flattering, but then silk purses cannot be fashioned from sows’ ears. Making him sweet and appealing was clearly a task too far. So I have decided to redress the balance, and show you that Henry was sweet and… Continue reading Don’t believe his latest statue, the real Henry VII was cuddly…!

Significant opportunities missed?

Robert Stillington is likely to have been born in about 1420 and was consecrated as Bishop of Bath and Wells on 30 October 1465. As we know, in spring 1483, he confessed his knowledge of Edward IV’s bigamy. Based on Stillington’s evidence, the Three Estates voted to cancel the coronation of Edward V, inviting Richard… Continue reading Significant opportunities missed?

Miles Metcalf, or how the city of York defied Henry VII…

In a book called The Fifteenth Century – 3: Authority and Subversion, edited by Linda Clark, there is an interesting essay by James Lee entitled Urban Recorders and the Crown in Late Medieval England. I have taken from the article to illustrate the situation of the city of York with regard to the vital position… Continue reading Miles Metcalf, or how the city of York defied Henry VII…